“Failure is not falling down….but refusing to get up. – Chinese Proverb”
Make no mistake about it, pro wrestling does have a dark side to it. There are hundreds upon hundreds of stories about the dark and sometimes sinister side as chronicled in my ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ series. This piece is a direct opposite of that….with every bad story I have shared…there are also positive stories. Stories of wrestlers making it above and beyond the ring. Positive stories to inspire. Pro wrestlers aren’t all drug addicts, scam artists and carny sideshows. They all don’t die at an early age, or are broke and need to wrestle till they die. They don’t necessarily have to get into acting like The Rock or Batista. They don’t have to necessarily switch over to MMA like Brock Lesnar or CM Punk. Some of these stories are just about hard work, dreaming big and doing whatever it takes to succeed. With that said, let’s look at some positives…
Recently, it was reported that former WCW and WWE Diva Torrie Wilson was the highest paid woman who was involved in pro wrestling at one point or another. She is currently worth an estimated 18 million dollars. Not only did she save her money from her wrestling days well…she also had a successful career as a fitness model and created her own fashion line and opened boutiques.
The former WWE, WCW and TNA wrestler known as ‘Crowbar’ studied for his degree in physical therapy while actively wrestling all over the world. He and his wife now own and operate their own successful health care business.
Paul has successfully transitioned from the business of pro wrestling to become a Firefighter/paramedic in Louisville, Kentucky.
Former TNA Knockout loses over 100 pounds
A former TNA Knockout known as Rosie Lottalove…lost an astounding 127 pounds and has decided to make a wrestling comeback. Good for her!
Boni Blackstone and Joe Pedicino
Often times, marriage and pro wrestling don’t mix very well. There are so many separations and failed marriages due to time spent away from each other and temptations on the road. That isn’t the case with Boni and Joe who have been a part of pro wrestling whether it be booking or announcing for many years and are still together after 25 years. Not only do they have a successful marriage, but also operate their own radio station…92.5 the Bear in Atlanta, Georgia.
Elijah Burke aka D’Angelo Dinero
The former WWE and TNA wrestler still competes on the indie circuit, but he definitely has a plan for life after wrestling. In 2011, Burke graduated from college with high honors in Criminal Justice.
Speaking of life after pro wrestling, WWE’s Xavier Woods earned his Ph.D. in educational psychology.
The work that Dallas Page did with not only Scott Hall and Jake Roberts…but countless others is truly remarkable. His DDP Yoga has saved many lives.
The former ‘Dog Faced Gremlin’ is doing very well after a successful career in wrestling. He now owns and operates his own real estate company in Georgia and has been elected and re-elected to a local school board a number of times.
Candice…a former WWE women’s champion and Go-Daddy girl, is now happily married with a family.
The poster girl for the rock n Wrestling era of the WWF…Wendi Richter earned a Masters degree in occupational therapy after her wrestling days were over and now says she is happier and makes more money now then at any point during her wrestling career.
Dennis Knight…the former “Naked Mideon,” graduated culinary school and is now a chef who owns his own private catering business.
The same can be said of Nidia, a WWE Tough Enough winner who went on to become a wrestler/valet. She graduated culinary school and is now a chef.
The Barbarian, a member of the Powers of Pain with the Warlord…owns a very successful construction company.
Marc Lowrance is a former ring announcer, interviewer and announcer for World Class Championship Wrestling. (WCCW) After WCCW folded, Lowrance attended seminary school and is now Senior pastor at St. John the Apostle United Methodist Church in Arlington, Texas.
Tully battled drug and alcohol addiction for years….he turned to God and is now a prison minister preaching the word to inmates. He is also on the board of advisers of the International Network of Prison Ministries.
Dale Torborg aka The Kiss Demon
Dale Torborg…who was known as the Kiss Demon in WCW…returned to a more familiar role….baseball. His Dad Jeff Torborg was a player/manager for several years….Dale is now the strength and conditioning coach for the Chicago White Sox. He is also married to former WCW valet Asya.
Vickie Guerrero was thrust into the world of pro wrestling when her husband…Eddie Guerrero suddenly passed away. She did it to continue to provide for her two young daughters. After years with the company…Vickie put herself through school and is now retired from the WWE and has a job in medical administration.
Connor Michalek in WWE’s Opening
The WWE is criticized and justly so sometimes for their cold hearted corporate stance on certain issues…but their handling of a 9 year old child suffering from cancer was truly heart warming. They treated him and his family to front row seats at events and gave Connor a backstage tour of the WWE’s operations. They even went as far as have Connor enter the ring and “wrestle” Triple H. It didn’t end there, because the WWE continues to help the charity in Connor “The Crusher” Michalek charity Connor’s Cure for pediatric cancer and added his image to the WWE’s ‘Then, Now and Forever’ openings. RIP Connor “The Crusher” Michalek.
John Cena and Make A Wish
As of this date, John Cena has granted well over 400 wishes to sick children through the Make A Wish foundation. That is by far, the most of any other celebrity. Say what we want about the character of John Cena, but that is truly impressive and inspirational.
Yes, booking David Arquette to become WCW world champion was a bad idea. While it made no business sense for the company….kudos go out to Arquette who did something pretty amazing with his WCW paycheck. He donated the entire amount of money to the families of Brian Pillman, Owen Hart and Darren Drozdov. All of whom either died suddenly or tragically or were paralyzed from an in ring accident.
Bam Bam Bigelow saves kids lives
In 2000, the late, great Bam Bam Bigelow rushed into a burning house and rescued 3 children from certain death. The result was Bam Bam saving the kids, but suffered burns on 40% of his body. A true hero indeed.
Chris Masters Saves his Mom
Chris Masters also did a similar act of heroism, when his mother was trapped inside her home after a madman set it on fire. Masters ripped a tree from its roots and used it as a battering ram to get into the house and save his mother. Masters and his Mom survived and the pyromaniac was arrested.
Curt Hennig Saves Wade Boggs Life
During a hunting trip, baseball Hall of Famer accidentally got his legs tangled in barb wire. With his legs severely torn up and bleeding, his hunting buddy, the late Curt Hennig untangled his friend and carried Boggs for over a mile to Hennig’s truck and drove Boggs to the nearest hospital. He saved Wade Boggs life that day and Boggs has called Hennig his Guardian Angel a number of times since.
Then there is this from Triple H, who took a kid suffering from Downs Syndrome and gave him the experience of a lifetime…